Experimental Study of a Large Scale Flat Plate Solar Collector with Predictive Modelling

This source preferred by Zulfiqar Khan

Authors: Khan, Z., Wen, B. and Camfield, T.


Start date: 13 November 2015

Fossil fuels have become one of the main energy sources for human beings after the Industrial Revolution. However, with ever-increasing energy consumption, they are not sustainable in terms of their finite reserves, pollutions to the environment and contributions to climate change. Driven by these problems, the EU and UK have together set a mutual objective to generate renewable energy as 20% of the total energy supply by 2020. The current research is a direct response to the needs for developing novel alternative renewable technology solutions which are capable of converting solar energy into useful clean energy. This research has been successful in commissioning bench testing techniques that proved the fundamental concepts of the novel serpentine-tubed collector design in the context of practicability and energy conversion efficiency. The LSFPSC (Large Scale Flat Plate Solar Collector) has continuous serpentine tubing that eliminates the presence of any welded and fitted joints that are prone to leaks enhancing durability and reliability. Mean collector efficiencies of 45.36% and 50.20% were observed respectively for the unglazed and glazed configurations of the LSFPSC during the experiments. Predictive models of the LSFPSC were developed to simulate its performance where parameters can be varied to evaluate improvement designs before practical implementation to save time and reduce costs. The experimental results were employed to validate predictive models for studying the effects of important conditional parameters including specific mass flow rate, wind speed and aperture areas with respects to the length and number of serpentine tubing segments.

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